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December 23, 2010

"Pat Robertson Questions Prison for Pot Convictions"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new piece (with a video clip) from the New York Times that reports on an interesting early Christmas present for supported of marijuana legalization.  Here are the particulars:

Pat Robertson, the televangelist who once ran for president, said on his show “The 700 Club” that he thought marijuana should be legalized....

“I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kind of thing, it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people,” Mr. Robertson said. “Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”...

For Mr. Robertson, the issue appears to be the effect prison terms have on young people who have been arrested for what he said was taking “a couple of puffs” of marijuana. No word, though, if he plans to use his Christian Broadcasting Network to advocate for legalization anytime soon.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Mr. Robertson e-mails to say that he did not intend to suggest support for the legalization of marijuana, but rather to question the severity of the government’s punishments for those who use or possess a small amount of the drug. Here is the statement, from the spokesman, Chris Roslan:

“Dr. Robertson did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. He was advocating that our government revisit the severity of the existing laws because mandatory drug sentences do harm to many young people who go to prison and come out as hardened criminals. He was also pointing out that these mandatory sentences needlessly cost our government millions of dollars when there are better approaches available. Dr. Robertson’s comments followed a CBN News story about a group of conservatives who have proven that faith-based rehabilitation for criminals has resulted in lower repeat offenders and saved the government millions of dollars. Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs.”

December 23, 2010 at 08:10 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Merry Christmas! Thank you to tell us more interesting information. So nice sharing.I’m great to read it .

Posted by: Titleist AP2 | Dec 24, 2010 2:12:13 AM

Robertson also thinks that the Hatians made a deal with the devil that resulted in an earthquake. The stories about judges, cops and politicians, etc., supporting pot legalization are interesting and commendable. But if you have to start quoting this nutjob, you are losing ground on your argument.

Posted by: Bill B. | Dec 27, 2010 4:17:02 PM

Q: How can you tell when drug legalizers are getting desperate?

A: When they cite Pat Robertson.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 28, 2010 2:04:01 PM

I am Brian, the paralegal student. I don't know on what basis Pat Robertson commented such things. He definitely have some constructive thinking behind that, but sorry to say I don't agree with this. What we learned from life bad addiction is injurious for health and for society. It should be ceased nip in the bud. Marijuana is not only the curse in our society but it is also an offense which is equal to the third degree sex assaults.

Posted by: George Allen | Jan 1, 2011 2:34:28 AM

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